Agendas and minutes

Gwen Swinburn made this Freedom of Information request to City of York Trading

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was partially successful.

Dear City of York Trading,

Please provide copies of all agendas and minutes of the board since inception -

Yours faithfully,

Gwen Swinburn

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Dear City of York Trading,

Can you confirm you have this FOI please

Yours faithfully,

Gwen Swinburn

Dear City of York Trading,

Please provide these agendas and minutes

Yours faithfully,

Gwen Swinburn

enquiries@cytlimited.co.uk, City of York Trading

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Dear Ms Swinburn
 
Thank you for your request dated 10^th October asking for an internal
review of your enquiry.
 
We have made enquiries and understand that the work is in progress to
respond to your enquiry and that you can expect to receive a response by
27^th October.
 
City of York Trading Ltd, would like to apologise for the Company’s
failure to respond within the 20 working day timescale required by the
Freedom of Information Act.
 
Please be assured that the Company continually monitors its performance in
responding to FOI enquiries in order to identify any areas of improvement.
 
Yours sincerely
 
 
City of York Trading Ltd
 
T: general enquiries 01904 552909
 
E: [email address]
 
 
 
 

enquiries@cytlimited.co.uk, City of York Trading

2 Attachments

Dear Ms Swinburn
 
Please accept CYT Ltd’s apologies for the late response to your FOI
requested dated 11^th September 2015.
 
In response to your request for ‘all agendas and minutes of the board
since inception’.  The minutes from November 2013 to date are published on
the council’s website can be found at:
 
[1]http://cityofyorktrading.com/about-us/bo...
 
The related agendas,  and remaining minutes from November 2011 are
attached in the file below.
 
Whilst the full set of minutes have been provided the agendas for a small
number of dates cannot be located, however you will find each agenda
listed at the beginning of each set of minutes.
 
All commercially sensitive content is exempt under Section 42 of the
Freedom of Information Act and has been redacted, all personal data is
exempt under Section 40 of the Act and has been redacted.
 
 
If you are dissatisfied with our response you have the right to ask for a
review of how your enquiry was handled and responded to.   This can be
done by contacting the Managing Director at [2][email address]
stating the reason(s) why you are dissatisfied.  If after they complete
their investigation and reply to you with their findings, you still remain
dissatisfied you can contact the Information Commissioner, contact details
below:
Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Tel: 0303 123 1113 (local rate) or 01625 545 745 if you prefer to use a
national rate number
Fax: 01625 524 510
Or email: [3][email address] (please include your telephone number)
 
Yours sincerely
 
 
 
City of York Trading Ltd
 
T: general enquiries 01904 552909
 
E: [email address]
 
 
 
 

References

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1. http://cityofyorktrading.com/about-us/bo...
2. mailto:[email address]
3. mailto:[email address]

Dear City of York Trading,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of City of York Trading's handling of my FOI request 'Agendas and minutes'. The extent of redaction is diabolical. This wholly owned monopoly city of York ratepayers 'company.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/a...

Yours faithfully,

Gwen Swinburn

information.governance@veritau.co.uk,

2 Attachments

Dear Ms Swinburn
 
Thank you for your request dated 27 October 2015 in which you requested an
internal review of your FOI enquiry, on the basis of the extent of the
redactions. Please accept my apologies for the delay in this reply.
 
You requested copies of the agendas and minutes of the board of City of
York Trading Ltd. (CYT). The most recent minutes are already published,
and you were provided with a link to access these. Section 21 of the Act
provides that information is exempt from disclosure if it is readily
accessible to the applicant otherwise than under the Act, so it was in
accordance with the Act that you were provided with a link rather than
copies of these documents. I apologise that this exemption was not
explained in CYT’s response.
 
Redacted copies of unpublished documents were also provided to you. Some
of these documents contain detailed information relating to the company,
including financial performance and future plans.
 
In a climate of budget cuts, councils are having to develop new and
innovative ways of providing services at lower costs. CYT is a commercial
trading company, wholly owned by City of York Council, with a view to
ultimately cutting the cost to the public purse of services formerly
provided by the Council or by other agencies. The Council also receives a
dividend, as the sole shareholder, if the company makes a profit.
 
Section 43(2) of the Act provides an exemption to disclosure, where
disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the commercial
interests of any person (including the public authority holding it). I
note that the original reply stated that information was exempt under
section 42 of the Act, which was incorrect, and no explanation of the
exemption was provided, for which I apologise.
 
The businesses undertaken by CYT are carried out in highly competitive
environments and the release of detailed information of this kind is very
likely to give advantage to its direct competitors.  Some of the
information which has been redacted would allow a competitor to build up a
picture of CYT which could be used to replicate its business, or otherwise
seek to disadvantage it.
 
Section 43(2) is subject to the public interest test. I note that there
was no reference to or description of the public interest test which was
conducted in this case in the original response, for which I apologise.
The public interest factors have now been included below.
 
There is an obvious public interest in the spending of public funds and in
transparency regarding the way in which CYT, as a publicly owned company,
provides its services. However this should be weighed against the public
interest in ensuring that it is able to maximise its spending of public
funds and obtain the best return from its business. It is therefore not in
the public interest for CYT to disclose information which would allow a
competitor to take business from it and to damage CYT’s ability to
continue trading. Any harm to the company’s commercial viability could
mean additional cost to the public purse in replacing the services it
currently provides. It must also be considered that the company is
providing a service to schools at a competitive rate and any detriment to
its business may ultimately result in increased charges to schools, which
is clearly contrary to the public interest.
 
Although the exemption is engaged in this case and I consider that the
public interest favours the company operating without being put at a
commercial disadvantage, not all of the information redacted has the same
degree of commercial sensitivity. I am therefore recommending that City of
York Trading Ltd. reconsiders some of the redactions made to the documents
and makes a further disclosure to you.
 
Information was also withheld under section 40 (2) of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000, which exempts personal information from disclosure
where disclosure would breach one or more principles of the Data
Protection Act 1998. The information which was redacted was names,
initials and job titles of staff below the level of Head of Service. In
this case I consider that disclosure would breach the first principle,
namely that personal information must be fairly and lawfully processed and
must meet one of the conditions for processing as provided by schedule 2
of the Act. In this case I consider that disclosure would be unfair and
unlawful and none of the conditions for processing would be met, for staff
below the level of Head of Service. However, where names and initials may
be redacted, job titles should be disclosed, and I am therefore
recommending that a small number of the redactions be reconsidered.
 
I have recommended that the redactions in the documents are reconsidered
and this has now been done. Please find attached two documents containing
a new version of the minutes, with fewer redactions. I hope that this is
satisfactory, however if you wish you may complain to the Information
Commissioner at [1][email address] or write to:
 
First Contact Team
Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire SK9 5AF
 
Yours sincerely
 
Miriam Townsend
 
Miriam Townsend
Information Governance Officer
Veritau Limited | Veritau North Yorkshire Limited
Assurance Services for the Public Sector
Telephone: 01609 536985
E-mail: [2][email address]
 
For further information about the company please visit our website:
[3]www.veritau.co.uk
 
 
 
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References

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